1.2 million displaced by record flooding in China

1.2 million displaced by record flooding in China
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Extreme flooding in central China has displaced more than 1.2 million people and killed at least 25.

The Washington Post reported more than 17,000 firefighters have been mobilized for rescue operations, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has issued a statement ordering authorities to prioritize people's safety and property.

Weather officials say that the conditions are the heaviest rains seen in China in 1,000 years, according to Reuters.

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Around 100,000 people have been evacuated from the city of Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan province where much of the flooding has occurred.

The evacuations come after about 25 inches of rain fell in Zhengzhou between Saturday and Tuesday, the equivalent to a year's worth of rain the city normally sees. More rain is forecast for Henan for the next three days.

The rains have shut down much of transportation in Henan, with train services suspended, highways closed and flights either canceled or delayed, according to Reuters.

"Flood prevention efforts have become very difficult," Xi said in a statement on state television.

Multiple Chinese businesses, insurers and banks have said that they have offered donations and emergency aid to the local governments of Henan, totaling about $300 million.

The Post noted that the flooding serves as a major blow to China's COVID-19 recovery, which has largely been successful after a coronavirus outbreak that was believed to have originated in Wuhan. 

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Zhengzhou is major transportation and logistics hub in the country.

Zhang Lanjuan, a volunteer helping in the flood rescue efforts, spoke to the Post and described about 200 people trapped in a neighborhood she visited on Wednesday by the high waters.

“They had no electricity, no water, no food, and no cell signal,” Zhang said.